Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Rolling on Quicksand

The other week I got stuck in foam. My family and I were at a trampoline park--an indoor cornucopia of trampolines, rock walls, and obstacle courses--and I decided to jump into the foam pit. Basically, you run onto a trampoline, bounce, and then drop into a massive pit filled with cinder-block-sized foam bricks.

Everything was fine until I tried to get out. I couldn't move. Every time that I pressed down on the foam, it just smooshed beneath my weight. I felt trapped, not unlike someone would feel who is stuck in quicksand. Except in this situation, I wasn't sinking; in fact, that was the problem. I wasn't moving, no matter what I did.

Strength wasn't going to help me because the more harder that I pressed on the bricks, the faster they collapsed.

I looked to my wife for help, but what could she do? I'm well over 200 pounds and was several feet away.

I stretched my toes to gain leverage on the floor but soon learned that the floor was a trampoline of sorts, and didn't offer me any purchase.

Finally, my wife told me to roll. So there I was, a sweaty, frustrated mess, rolling my way on my back across this lake of foam. Eventually, I rolled onto the platform and collapsed into a heaving mass. As I panted my way back to sanity, I marveled at how easily the children climbed out of the pit. Lithe and light, they practically sprinted across the obstacle that had proven so difficult for me.

So is the case with life: the more that we struggle, insisting on asserting our will on the world, the more stuck we become. It's only when we relax and settle into the situation, that we can roll with life.

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